New To Coal

New To Coal

PostBy: russo81 On: Sun Mar 04, 2007 4:21 pm

Hey whats up everyone....New guy here trying to save some money burning wood and coal in my new used fireplace insert....
(1981 Russon coal/wood) Anyway got a couple of quick questions if you dont mind answering.

1. I dont have a problem getting a nice blazing wood fire going and then i damper down to get the most heat out of the unit, but when do i add coal?....do i have to wait untill the fire dies out and there just red ambers?
2. approximately how much coal do you need to to last all night like 10pm to 5am outside temps in like the teens....
3.Not crazy about leaving for work with coal going but if i need to how unsafe is it?
4. what size coal do you guys use?
5. Being a young married with a kid on the way and buying a house in New York Long Island i would love to save some money in oil my house is about 1800sq foot ranch. Insert has blower, My question is, is it worth the trouble of coal and wood?

Sorry about all the questions I understand if you guys dont want to answer them all just mybe a couple would be good. thanks.
russo81
 

PostBy: bugize On: Sun Mar 04, 2007 6:26 pm

well,there are a few people on here with coal fire places so they could better answer your questions.i can tell you this,it is safer to heat with coal than wood.i have heated most of my life with wood,i like coal much better,wish i done it sooner,no creosote problems,cooler stack temps with more heat output.when i start my wood fire i let it burn to about halfway coals,still some wood...then i start to add a few scoops of coal....let it catch....blue flame with some orange at the bottom.make sure you have plenty of air comming from the bottom of the fire when you start putting coal to it.there are many older post on here if you look that explains alot of different peoples techniques with there set up. you wont have to leave work to check on it...my hand fired stove goes over 12 hrs. good luck :shock:
bugize
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Mark3

PostBy: russo81 On: Sun Mar 04, 2007 8:29 pm

ok, thanks alot....i tried it your way and got a nice mound of coal cooking good... as for the 12 hour burn, how do you acomplish that,,,you must load your stove right to the top.....and when i reload can i mound alot on a little amount of red coals? or will i smother it? i apreciate the help
russo81
 

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PostBy: LsFarm On: Sun Mar 04, 2007 10:14 pm

Hi Russo, you can, actually almost must, add fresh coal to the mound of red coal. Otherwise you must build a fire from new with wood again.

You need to shake the ashes from the existing coal fire, to open up the air passageways around the pieces of coal. The powdery ash tends to block the air flow through the grates and up through the coal bed.

Load on the coal, you want a full firebox, all the way up to the top of the firebrick lining the firebox. Then control the heat output and lenght of burn with the air getting to the fire.

With 10" of coal you should burn all night long, as long as you don't have too much air to the fire.

All air to the coal must come from under the fire, up through the grate. No air entering the firebox from above the fire. Don't leave any edges of the coal bed open to let air get by the coal bed, all air must go through the coal.

Hope this helps, Greg L..

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Last edited by LsFarm on Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

PostBy: russo81 On: Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:05 am

thanks Lsfarm, I know after you get a nice bed of wood ambers you add coal, but do you add a little and wait for them to get red and then keep adding or do you add enough coal to cover the whole grate? and sometimes when i burn wood i only get ambers in the middle is that ok? or do you need the whole grate covered with wood ambers? thanks for your help
russo81
 

PostBy: LsFarm On: Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:26 am

Hi Russo, a coal fire will slowly burn sideways, not as fast as upward, but it will spread from the center of the firebox to the edges, as long as there is air getting to the coal

I'd add several inches of coal to the mound of wood coals in the center of the grate, but have coal covering the entire grate. Otherwise the air will just go around the fire in the center. The air will take the easy way and going through the wood ashes and coals, then through the bed of anthracite coal is more difficult than just going through the grate and up the chimney. I hope this makes sense?

So cover the grate and the mound of wood coals with several inches of anthracite, but not so much that you can't see the red coals though the gaps between the chunks of coal. Let this get burning. Then add more coal let it get going too. Then fill the firebox up to the top of the firebrick.

Greg L
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

PostBy: russo81 On: Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:40 am

thanks so much Lsfarm, Im gonna try again tomorrow....one more quick question i have a damper at the top of the stove to cut down the gap leading to the chimney and i have an air control on the front of the ash box. but what is this other air hole off to the right of the stove and is piped to the top
of the stove? should i use it or close it off?
russo81
 

PostBy: LsFarm On: Mon Mar 05, 2007 8:22 am

I'm not familiar with your stove, you will have to post a photo of it for us. When getting the fire started, open the damper that reduces the area of the air passageway to the chimney. For starting the fire you want this wide open.

Close off any air access above the coal fire. Hve the only air available be the air through the ash pan door or ash box.

Once the coal fire is going well, then you can experiment with the damper to keep more heat in the stove, letting less up the chimney.

Is the hole off the the right an air passageway around the outside of the firebox? or does the passageway go into the firebox? I could be a air heating duct to get heat off the stove into the room.

Please post a photo, name, size and any other info about your insert.

Greg L
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

PostBy: russo81 On: Mon Mar 05, 2007 4:35 pm

yeah. the hole is off to the right, not on the stove itself but on the metal boarder that surround the insert and goes to the top back of stove. the hole has like a spin damper i guess it opens up more when the fire needs more air...or something.....i dont know but anyway thank you for all your help i think its gonna just be some practice now. i got all the info. thanks again.
russo81
 

PostBy: russo81 On: Mon Mar 05, 2007 5:58 pm

i think i figured it out, the hole is to create better draft for the chimney. i remember it pipes to the top back of fireplace
russo81
 

PostBy: russo81 On: Mon Mar 05, 2007 7:47 pm

Ok, i burnt a nice stack of small split wood to coals. i added a nice 2 to 3 inch layer of coal so i could still see the red ambers a little....that was about 5 pm then at 6:30 i through the rest of coal on i had....only enough to get half way up to the fire brick. the coal was bright red the whole grate so i hope it will burn at least half way through the night..... well at least im starting to get the hang of it.....
russo81
 

INSERT

PostBy: russo81 On: Mon Mar 05, 2007 11:27 pm

MY STOVE AND COAL FIRE TONIGHT
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russo81
 

PostBy: ohiocoalburner On: Tue Mar 06, 2007 12:55 am

Hello russo81 and welcome to the forum. You will find that once you get the hang of using coal you won't want to go back to wood. I use a coal insert to heat my home and love it! Once you get the fire going it keeps burning with little maintanace for months. Good luck with your insert.
ohiocoalburner
 

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Tue Mar 06, 2007 8:32 am

russo81 wrote:....only enough to get half way up to the fire brick. the coal was bright red the whole grate so i hope it will burn at least half way through the night.....

Fill it right up.... to the top of the firebrick. Always run the firebox full and throttle the fire with the draft damper, you'll have longer burn and your anthracite will be happier. :)
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

thanks

PostBy: russo81 On: Tue Mar 06, 2007 7:45 pm

ok, thanks.... I dont know if i want to fill it to the top yet, because i am buying the coal by the bag. its 10 bucks a bag were i am and im pretty sure to fill it to the top of the fire brick it will take almost the whole bag..... i think im just gonna finish this last month of winter out here in New York Long Island messing around with the insert and fine tuning the dampers and all that. and maybe next winter ill order in bulk so i get it cheaper... i think the coal is most exspensive here for some reason. but thanks for the help every one. I would have never figured all this out with out coming to this forum.... so thanks i got a nice coal fire going now...its gonna get in the teens tonight....lol
russo81
 

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